Little Witch Academia – 14
OP2: 「MIND CONDUCTOR」by YURiKA
「ニューエイジマジック」 (Nyū Eiji Majikku)
“New Age Magic”
If the first half was about Akko realizing what Shiny Chariot’s influence meant to her, and how to apply her limited knowledge in magic towards matching her idol, the second half looks like it will be about Akko’s love of magic being challenged by the encroaching presence of technology.
If you were wondering when the “plot” would kick in, this looks to be where the show’s direction goes from developing Akko and following her misadventures to getting deep into the lore the show has been building up to. We’ve seen shades of what LWA‘s universe is like as Fafnir and Andrew’s family has hinted at the degradation of magic in contemporary society in favor of technological wonders. Episode 14 shifts this concept to overdrive with the appearance of Croix (Takeuchi Junko), the newest professor at the academy, who relies on magical Roombas to help her work her magic. Croix spends the episode trying to convince the other professors to integrate the academy with new technology. It’s a recipe for disaster, but all of the professors that weren’t Finnelan or Ursula were on board with giving Croix that much access to their power. It’s no wonder why they were so easily swayed around by the dragon, but this time around they should’ve got it together by now. I’m this close to predicting that this will cause Finnelan to warm up to Akko and Ursula in tsundere fashion once it hits the fan with whatever Croix is planning.
This episode also fleshes out aspects of the academy’s energy source as the fairies who help power the academy’s magic go on strike. Part of this helps pave the way for Croix’s tech to worm its way into the academy, but it also builds an interesting dynamic to Akko and Diana’s rivalry. While Akko was convinced by the fairies’ plight and joined them and learned all about the burgeoning issues between the high, middle, and lower classes. It does reflect on Akko’s talent of empathy and relations that she’s built with other factions such as the fish when she accidentally flushed Professor Pisces. It is also one of the first times we see Diana with a crowd against her with Akko and the fairies rallying against the privilege that Diana has lived under. There were only a couple times the show explored the insecurity and resentment Diana has with being well-adored, but it makes me optimistic that they’ll do more to expand on Diana more now that we’ve seen her in a situation where she was as alienated as Akko felt around highly talented witches.
One concern I have is Akko’s instant adoration of Croix. Throughout the episode, Croix constantly uses technology as a means of swaying Akko, the students, and the professors towards integrating her technology into their witchcraft, but Akko’s taking the bait. It might just be my reaction as a viewer because it’s clearer to us that Croix is incredibly shady in how she wants to find a means to control the academy’s power source so easily with SSS. On top of that, the hints that Ursula and Croix have a complicated and bitter history are mounting the further we get into the second half. It all culminates as Ursula returns from her delivery run to find Akko being happy to talk to Croix in the alleyway. From the way things go, the series should work out with Akko still loving magic, but for the time being, it does provide a great amount of tension to see Akko starting to admire Croix’s technological power, the exact opposite of Ursula/Chariot’s more straightforward magical approach. There’s much to look forward to the next time with Ursula meeting Croix for the first time in years under these circumstances.
ED2: 「透明な翼」 (Toumei na Tsubasa) by 大原 ゆい子 (Ohara Yuiko)